Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, better known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is something that most college students would jokingly think they have, but in reality, affects between 860,000 to 2.5 million Americans and 2.6 percent of the entire global population. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can cause people to suffer extreme exhaustion, which can greatly hinder their ability to do simple daily tasks, work, and study.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms
Sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome face much difficulty when it comes to receiving treatment from doctors. Doctors used to believe that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was a psychological issue but now understand that it is a true illness. In fact, Chronic Fatigue has only been an official disease for the last two years. Along with its new official status as a disease, it received yet another name, Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease, or SEID for short. Doctors did not believe that the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome name accurately portrays the disease as being very serious, and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is usually used outside of America. In addition to many doctors previously not even believing in the disease, it is also very hard to diagnose. People who were forced to suffer through the disease could be exhibiting symptoms for years before ever being correctly diagnosed and getting the attention they need. To diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, patients need to exhibit the following symptoms: extreme fatigue lasting six months or more, complete exhaustion after even minor physical or minor tasks, unrefreshing sleep, and cognitive impairment after standing. As these symptoms become more widely recognizable, it is likely that more people will be able to get the treatment they need before it is too late. For causes and treatments of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, continue reading on the next page.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Causes and Treatments
Surprisingly, researchers of the disease were unable to figure out what was causing the disease for many years. As a result of them not being able to find a cause, doctors assumed that it wasn’t a real disease that needed to be cured. As a result of them not knowing the cause, many irrelevant or harmful treatments were prescribed to patients. Some treatments would make the problem worse instead of fixing them. Currently, there is no known cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but treatments include taking antidepressants, sleeping pills, and pacing yourself throughout the day to preserve energy.
Recently researchers from Australia have discovered that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is linked to a flawed cell receptor in immune cells. Researchers at Griffith University found that patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome were more likely to have imperfect DNA in the genetic code for a specific cell receptor known as Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 3 (TRPM3). TRPM3 is very important when it comes to day-to-day operations, as it transfers calcium from outside the cell to the inside which allows the cell to regulate gene expression and protein production. Researchers studied blood samples from 15 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients and 25 people without the disease. They discovered that the patients with the disease had fewer working TRPM3 receptors than the ones without. These patients ended up having impaired cell function because calcium ions were unable to make it inside the cell as normal. The problem with TRPM3 is that it is a crucial element of every cell in the body, which is what makes the disease so extreme. Symptoms can appear anywhere, including the brain, spinal cord, pancreas, or other parts of the body.
We know that it is TRPM3 receptors that cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but it is not yet known why it comes from these specific receptors. Theories suggest that traumatic events or serious infections could be what trigger the receptors to cause errors. TRPM3 receptors are also part of a class of receptors that are known as “threat receptors”, meaning that TRPM3 receptors are upregulated when the body is under threat, making them over express themselves when it comes to dealing with threats such as infection trauma, stress or childbirth. At the moment, it’s only an untested theory but it could be the beginning of something. For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome test, continue reading on the next page.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Test
Soon, doctors will be creating a test so they can easily discover if a patient has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The creation of the test is entirely dependent upon whether or not doctors can identify the best markers that truly indicate Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The test will also allow them to prescribe the best treatment possible. Early treatment before diagnosis may be to exercise, but rigorous exercise may exacerbate the condition and end up making it worse. Doctors are hoping to find medications that can target very specific calcium ions so they can accurately treat the problem without major side effects.
The research is still in its early phases and could end up showing that it isn’t just TRPM3 receptors that are affected. Only time will tell but until then, more and more sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will be able to get the treatment they need to live a full and happy lifestyle.